If you want a thicker lawn and you live in New England, Fall is the time to plant grass.
If you’re thinking Spring makes more sense, we get it. However just because the warmer days seem like the right time to plant grass seed, what happens in the Spring, especially early Spring, the days are sunny and warmer, but the soil temperature is still quite low. Soil temperatures are very important to turf and root development. Another bump in the road is that Spring is when other plants and weeds want attention too. While there are many ways to minimize weed growth in the lawn, they can counteract new seed germination. On the flip side, when you overseed in the Fall your chances are much better because the seed is not fighting with any other plant growth and it really likes the warm days and cooler nights with soil temperatures still high and optimal. We recommend starting to overseed in late August and the whole month of September is really well suited for planting grass in New England.
To increase your success we strongly recommend aeration before planting. Aeration is critical, and in some cases we double-aerate to increase the percentage rates we see with germination.
What does aeration do exactly? Three essential benefits:
1. Allows more air and water to get to the root zone of the turf.
2. Reduces some thatch layer and compaction in the soil. This also allows nutrients to better enter the root zone.
3. Helps create/retain more moisture in the soil to help the grass seed thrive. When you poke holes across the lawn at 1-2″ apart the grass seed will fall into those holes and be protected from wind, or too much sun. Grass seed must have contact with the soil in order to germinate.
Once you’ve overseeded, we recommend watering 3x/day for 10 minutes each time. However, it is important to look at the surroundings to tighten up a watering schedule, i.e. full sun, some shade, etc…
These tip are brought to you by PLTS’s resident lawn pro, Brian McGrenaghan. Brian has years of experience in the golf industry, where a plush green course is highly coveted. He had the opportunity to assist with a ‘grow in’ for a brand new course in New York, where he learned “the hard way” what is really needed to grow and maintain beautiful green grass in all kinds of conditions. Questions about how to get that golf course green in your front yard? Give us a call or click here — we’re here with the expertise to help you get the lawn of your dreams!